By Request: Will You Be Speaking at ABA TECHSHOW This Year?

Note: As part of my ninth blawgiversary celebration, I’m answering reader questions. You may submit your questions by leaving a comment to this post, sending me an email (denniskennedyblog @ gmail.com) or contacting me through my social media outlets.

First up:

Will you be speaking at ABA TECHSHOW this year? What will you be speaking on?

The ABA TECHSHOW has long been the legal technology conference I enjoy the most and the one I try to go to every year.

I’m please that I was invited to speak at TECHSHOW this year, and am greatly looking forward to doing so.

My speaking agenda:

Thursday, March 29, 2:00 PM – Coffee Shop Office: The Ethics of Mobile Computing (with Sharon Nelson)

Practicing anywhere at any time is no longer just a dream. From SmartPhones, laptops, and tablets, to the use of cloud-based tools; from Wi-Fi hot spots to remote access services, wireless technology is changing the paradigm of modern legal practice. But that new freedom requires heightened security practices to meet ethical standards. Our techno-ethics experts walk through best practices for taking your office on the road.

Friday, March 30, 3:30 PM – Running Your Practice Entirely in the Cloud: From Start Up to a Large Virtual Firm (with Chad Burton)

Setting up a viable cloud-based or virtual practice requires many careful steps — there are many ethics dangers along the way. Learn how to do just that with our speakers, as they show how every aspect of the law office can be put it in the cloud regardless of firm status, i.e. start up vs. existing practice, or firm size. See specific examples of how to share documents, client information and more – all in the cloud!”

And . . . although it’s not on the schedule on the TECHSHOW website, I understand that Allison Shields and I will be hosting a “Meet the Authors” session for our new book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers.

I’ve been working with my excellent co-speakers and believe we have great plans for these sessions – they should be jammed with lots of great practical information.

As usual, I’ll probably spend my spare time staffing the conference concierge desk and spending time visiting with as many people as I can. Be sure to come up and say hello if you attend TECHSHOW. Do I really have to say that if you are a regular reader of this blog, you should definitely attend TECHSHOW this year? TECHSHOW registration info is here. I noticed that the early registration discount window has been kept open for a few more days.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

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How Technology Has Changed Communication and Collaboration With Clients

I’m excited to be a panelist at a CLE session the Standing Committee on Technology and Information Systems of the American Bar Association will sponsor the following CLE at the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto, on August 5, 2011.

The session is titled “eAttorney, MiAttorney: How Technology Has Changed Communication and Collaboration With Clients.” It will happen on Friday, August 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, Room 716B, 700 Level, South Building,

Here’s the description of the session:

Whether by iPad, Facebook or JDSupra, advancing technology is rapidly affecting the attorney/client relationship. What will the future hold? Come hear perspectives from corporate counsel, a legal futurist, and an ethics expert as they discuss key trends in the new ways lawyers communicate and collaborate with clients – and each other. The panel will focus in particular on emerging ethical requirements, and provide practical suggestions for strategies to meet the challenge and promise of evolving communication media.

Here’s the panel:

Moderator: Daniel Schwartz, Hartford, Connecticut

Panelists: Michael Downey, St. Louis, Missouri, Jordan Furlong, Ottawa, Canada
, Dennis Kennedy, St. Louis, Missouri

We’ve put together a great format for the session, you should get some great information, insights and ideas from this group. I’m really looking forward to this one. I hope you get the chance to attend this one.

Learn more about the ABA Annual Meeting, including registration information and the complete program book here.  

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

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Starting a Conversation about Open Source in Law Practice

At ABA TECHSHOW 2011, I got the opportunity to speak with Rodney Dowell on the topic of the “Open Source Powered Law Firm.” Rodney was great, the audience was engaged, and I really enjoyed the experience. Gwynne Monahan does a nice job of capturing the session in her post, “First Mac, then #cloudcomputing so perhaps #opensource #abatechshow.”

As I mentioned in the session, former Red Hat CEO Bob Young was a keynote speaker at ABA TECHSHOW 2000 and, I believe, this was the first TECHSHOW session since then to focus on Open Source software. Young’s talk inspired me to write a law review article on the Open Source licenses in 2001 (“A Primer on Open Source Licensing Legal Issues: Copyright, Copyleft and the Future,” 20 St. Louis Univ. Pub. L. Rev. 345 (2001)) and put together a list of web sources on Open Source legal issues. I’ve been interested in Free and Open Source software and the philosophy behind it ever since. If you Google my name and “Open Source” you’ll find some of my writings and a couple of podcasts (e.g., this podcast).

I’ve had the chance in 2011 to write one article and co-author with Gwynne Monahan another on the use of Open Source software in the practice of law.

The major article is the one with Gwynne that was recently published in the March/April 2011 issue of the ABA’s Law Practice magazine. It’s called “10 Tips for Getting Started with Open Source Software” and it’s meant to be a easy and practical introduction to Open Source Software and the role it might play in law practice. As you might guess from the title, it feature ten important practical tips.

In my monthly technology column for the American Bar Journal in March 2011, I wrote a short and concise introduction to Open Source software in law practice called “Free Can Be Good: Add Open Source to Software Considerations.” In the column, I conclude: “Open Source programs are be coming realistic alternatives for lawyers, especially for focused tasks. Now is a great time to add a consideration of Open Source software to your technology decision-making process.”

Through the presentation and the articles, I wanted to join with Gwynne and Rodney in raising the profile of Open Source software, highlighting its growing importance and introducing the philosophy and reality of Open Source software.

Open Source is about community. The articles and presentation are meant to start the conversation, but we also wanted to find ways to continue and extend the conversation about the use of Open Source software in the practice of law. One step in that direction is a new LinkedIn group called Open Source Tools for Law Practice. With luck, it will grow to help people find others interested in Open Source and offer a place for conversations. If you are interested in Open Source, please consider joining the group.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

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The Freemium Practice of Law and IgniteLaw 2011

I did a presentation called “The Freemium Practice of Law” at IgniteLaw 2011 last Sunday night, produced by my good friends Matt Homann and JoAnna Forshee.

IgniteLaw takes a unique approach to presentations – 12 presenters each presenting for 6 minutes using only 20 slides apiece. And the slides advance automatically every 18 seconds.

It’s a challenging format for any speaker, no matter how experienced, especially if it doesn’t fit your usual style. Perhaps I understate that. It’s the speaking equivalent of riding in a top fuel dragster.

I found the presentation fun – in a challenging sort of way – but quickly struggled with time management. I got my points made, but not quite in the way I had hoped. My main points seemed to get across and I hope I was able to contribute in a small way to what was a fun evening with lots of high-quality presentations.

The videos will be posted soon, but I thought it might be fun to post the final version of the “rehearsal script” I had written. On that evening, the “script” turned out to be more ambitious than I’d hoped it would be (especially since I couldn’t refer to it), but I really liked the way this version of the script read. See what you think.

The Freemium Practice of Law – Rehearsal Script

1. Several years ago, when I was in the private practice of law, I had a meeting with a potential new client, a technology start-up. Things went well and they wanted to hire me. The initial project would be preparing terms of use and a privacy policy for their website.

2. I gave them an estimate and the president of the company joked that lawyers probably all used the same base documents and just changed the company names. Or at least we created documents with one push of a button. We laughed, although I felt the need to mention that even standard documents had nuances.

3. I thought a lot about that client’s view of legal work, especially documents, and the question kept coming back to me: “If clients assume we can use technology in this way and, technically, we can, why aren’t we”? I first implemented document assembly more than 20 years ago, so the issue is less technology than business model.

4. One of my favorite innovation techniques is to reverse my assumptions. I recently listened to a podcast with William Ury, co-author of a great book on negotiation. He said, “to change the game, you must change the frame.”

5. Here was my reversal. What if standard documents actually were provided to clients for free, perhaps as part of a service package? How would that work? I didn’t get very far myself, but Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson wrote a book in 2009 called “Free” that looked at the growing Internet phenomenon of successful businesses based on giving away what would traditionally be core products and services for free, and then making money in a variety of other ways.

6. Anderson’s book tells about Monty Python deciding not to sue the thousands of people who started to put video clips from their shows and movies on YouTube. Instead, Monty Python created its own YouTube channel and made high-quality video clips available for free. In exchange, they simply asked people to consider buying their products. The result: a 23,000% increase in DVD sales in 3 months, even though they were giving the same video content away.

7. That’s Freemium. Make something available for free, use that to extend your reach and audience, and then provide options for people to willingly pay for enhanced value. My definition of freemium tonight would be: Giving away “something” in order to create educated customers who better understand how to use your services and products in ways that better help themselves and for which they will happily pay to do so.

8. There’s been a lot of discussion about Richard Susskind’s custom vs. commoditized approach and you’ll be hearing more about that in the next few days at TECHSHOW. The most interesting thing about freemium, at least to me, is not so much that it will work in both contexts, but that I think it can work extremely well in the custom context.

9. Another example. Open Source software and Larry Lessig’s Creative Commons licenses. The free “something” is the software or the standardized license. The Open Source model, where the software itself is available for free, but a company like Red Hat can be quite successful selling maintenance, support, consulting services, and even T-shirts around the software, is perhaps the best example of the freemium approach.

10. Stewart Brand famously said, “Information wants to be free.” We clearly live in a world where we expect to get digital versions of music, video, books and information for free. How do lawyers fit into that world?

11. My favorite new band is Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. They let people post recordings of their live shows on the Internet. I doubt that I would have bought any CDs or even known of them if not for this approach. Now, I buy albums and would attend a show in a heartbeat. Bands can now be thought of as music services providers, giving away what we once thought of as core content and value – the music – to create revenue from shows, merchandise and other channels.

12. Now think about a “legal services provider” model. Law is certainly an information business. Are we like music? Encyclopedias? Newspapers? Other fields challenged by Internet models, aging business approaches and innovative competitors? Change the frame, change the game.

13. Lawyers often will say that clients buy documents or hours – a lawyer-centric view. When I did estate planning, I concluded that, at heart, clients were really buying peace of mind – assurance that their family would be taken care of after they were gone. In other practice areas, they might also be buying things like judgment or risk management – something they’d happily pay more for than a document or a unit of time.

14. That is the big disconnect between lawyers and clients and where the opportunity for freemium law practice comes into play. Change the frame, change the game.

15. Some ideas. Start with Anderson’s book. It has plenty of ideas that might Anderson has a lot of freemium ideas in his book that could apply to the practice of law. Here’s one of mine to start you thinking – moving from highlights to insights to personalized. Highlights: a free annual summary of important cases prepared by an associate. Insights: an audio or video where partners explaining why the cases matter. Personalized: Half-day customized presentations where your best people show a client’s legal and executive team how to address those new cases.

16. Barriers. Oh, there are a few. Not done before. It’s change. How do we bill? Bar regulation still applying a 20th century framework to 21st century client needs. Don’t underestimate – these will be difficult frames to change, but freemium is for innovators who like challenges.

17. It strikes me that simple technology can drive this. Document assembly has been around for years. Second graders are making videos these days. So much can be delivered easily via the Internet for free.

18. Where do you get ideas other than buying Matt Homann a cup of coffee? I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Bryan Cave’s Trade Zone extranet application as a model. Other professional services firms, authors and consultants have successful models. Talk to young people, see what’s going on outside the US, and get a diversity of opinions.

19. Let me emphasize that I’m not for a second advocating a wholesale freemium approach. However, I do think that economic survival for the long term depends on taking a diversified portfolio approach. Using free to create enhanced-value freemium revenue streams should be one part of your portfolio.

20. 3 action steps for you:

1. Read Chris Anderson’s book. Even better, go to iTunes and get the audio version for free, and see if you go ahead and buy the book.

2. Carve out 30 minutes with a piece of paper and brainstorm ways you might try free and freemium, starting with places where you already heavily discount or write-off fees.

3. Change your frame and see if it changes your game

IgniteLaw 2011 was fun, fast-paced and informative. I congratulate Matt, JoAnna, all the other presenters and everyone else involved for putting on such a great event. And it was especially great to meet some other Grace Potter and the Nocturnals fans.

I’m hoping to post some reflections on TECHSHOW 2011 soon.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

Legal Aspects of Social Media for Non-Profits – Panel Presentation

If you are involved in the use of social media by and for non-profit organizations or just generally interested in legal issues arising out of the use of social media, and you will be in St. Louis on the afternoon of March 10, I have a panel presentation for you.

Here are the details:

Online Communities for Your Nonprofit: Legal Aspects of Social Media

March 10 – 3:00PM – 4:30PM

A panel of information technology attorneys from the St. Louis Corporate Counsel Association Pro Bono Committee will discuss the potential benefits of social media for nonprofits and provide an understanding of the legal issues and risks involved. They will suggest ways to create a successful online community without unhappy surprises.

Call 314-539-0357 to reserve your seat.

Schlafly Branch of the St. Louis Public Library (225 North Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108 (314) 367-4120)

The panelists for the presentation will be JulieAnn Broyles (Ascension Healthcare), Elizabeth Cox, Peter Salsich and me.

We’re planning to do lots of Q & A and try to cover what’s on our audience’s minds. Bring your questions. We hope to see you there.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Follow my microblog on Twitter at @dkennedyblog. Follow me at @denniskennedy

Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools